Stephen quoted Peirce:

*We employ twelve good men and true to decide a question, we lay the facts
before them with the greatest care, the "perfection of human reason"
presides over the presentment, they hear, they go out and deliberate, they
come to a unanimous opinion, and it is generally admitted that the parties
to the suit might almost as well have tossed up a penny to decide! Such is
man's glory! **Peirce: CP 1.627 *


In point of fact this quote is not from CP 1.627 but .626.

But first consider that the method of scientific inquiry is not that of a
jury, now is it?

Indeed, the quotation exemplifies the reason why I as list moderator ask
contributors to contextualize quotations (I usually do this off-list). The
quotation above appears in the first lecture of the 1998 lectures published
as *Reasoning and the Logic of Things*.

When William James first proposed that Peirce give a series of lectures in
Cambridge, he suggested in a letter that, rather then speaking on logic and
science as he was wont to do, that instead Peirce ought speak on "topics of
vital importance" (which phrase appears in 1.622,.623 and variants at .626
and .636). Peirce, of course, chose to speak on what interested him at the
time, including logic, inquiry and reasoning, and cosmology.

In the first lecture, no doubt in part to explain to James why he hadn't
taken his advice for a theme for the lecture series, he begins by arguing
that "topics of vital importance" have nothing to do with a "theory of
reasoning," which is a principal topic in his lectures. But they *do* have
their place, although not in scientific inquiry: ". . . in practical
affairs, in matters of vital importance, it is very easy to exaggerate the
importance of ratiocination" and in such matters Peirce will offer as
alternatives 'instinct' and 'the sentiments'. It is this snippet just
quoted that introduces the paragraph which concludes the quotation which
Stephen offered. However, ". . . in theoretical matters I refuse to allow
sentiment any weight whatsoever" (CP 1.634).

Science, by which he means here, "pure theoretic knowledge," ". . . has
nothing directly to say concerning practical matters" (CP 1.637), and it is
best "to leave [cenoscopic] philosophy to follow perfectly untrammeled a
scientific method" (CP 1.644).  Thus, once he's concluded this discussion
of topics of vital importance being little aided by our vain power of
reason (witness the jury illustration!), he moves on in the lectures to
follow to discussions of topics of scientific importance.

Of course it goes without saying, I'd hope, that the positive results of
scientific inquiry, for example, new technologies, may be applied to
matters of vital importance (for example, in medicine, etc.)

Best,

Gary R










Best,

Gary R




*Gary Richmond*
*Philosophy and Critical Thinking*
*Communication Studies*
*LaGuardia College of the City University of New York*
*718 482-5690*

On Fri, Mar 2, 2018 at 2:29 PM, Stephen C. Rose <stever...@gmail.com> wrote:

> *We employ twelve good men and true to decide a question, we lay the facts
> before them with the greatest care, the "perfection of human reason"
> presides over the presentment, they hear, they go out and deliberate, they
> come to a unanimous opinion, and it is generally admitted that the parties
> to the suit might almost as well have tossed up a penny to decide! Such is
> man's glory!*
>
> *Peirce: CP 1.627 Cross-Ref:††*
>
> amazon.com/author/stephenrose
>
>
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>
>
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